I’ve been eating like crap over the past few weeks. As a result, I moved up a belt notch and my pants were a bit more uncomfortable. My normal 173 pounds was hovering around the 180 range.
Out of my desire to not feel gross, I decided to not eat from Monday – Friday this past week. My last meal was Sunday night around 8-9 PM or so, and I broke my fast on Friday at 2 PM. I only drank black coffee and ate the occasional BreathSaver (because I am addicted to them and wanted to spare everyone the pain of dealing with my coffee breath).
My observations are below.
I started off at 180 pounds on Sunday afternoon and ended at 172 pounds on Friday afternoon. Most of this was certainly water weight, which I expected, but I was still relieved to find myself tightening my belt back to the normal, non-panic inducing notch.
On Saturday morning, I was back up to 177. This is the water weight and the weight of whatever food is still in me. Gaining back 5 pounds is not surprising, considering I ate 2 turkey sandwiches, a bowl of turkey soup, half a bag of chips and salsa, and some thai pork thing and sushi. Oh yea, and pie. Did not feel good after eating all that by the way.
During the work week (Monday through Friday for me), I don’t eat breakfast or lunch, so during the fasting period, I was generally not hungry until the times I normally ate, which was in the evening. I noticed I wasn’t really hungry. My stomach wasn’t rumbling or anything, but I definitely wanted to eat something out of habit. Day 1 was a little hard, days 2-3 were relatively easy, and day 4 (Thursday) was really hard. Again, I was never really “physically” hungry, but I did want to eat.
My energy levels were normal all week. I didn’t have more or less energy than usual. The one exception to that was when I went to the gym on Thursday (day 4). Lifting heavy weights was way harder than normal so I had to reduce the intensity quite a bit. Not a big deal
I slept really well while I was fasting. Normally I was up to go to the bathroom a couple of times per night and toss and turn a bit, but I slept straight through the night all week.
After getting a cold a few weeks ago, I’ve had a lingering dry cough. For a while, this was keeping me up at night, so I’ve been taking Nyquil. During the fast, my coughing was significantly reduced and I could go to bed without any meds. I have no idea if this was due to the fasting. The timing could just be a coincidence.
The most interesting part of the fast was boredom, especially in the evenings. My mind is pretty mushy in the evening so my normal routine is to eat dinner and watch TV. Not having anything to eat made me really bored. Even watching TV was pretty boring without eating. This just goes to show how much eating and watching TV are tied together in my normal routine.
What I tried to do instead was read a bit on the couch and take a short nap. That worked pretty well, but man, you just have so much time in the evening when you’re not eating. The boredom kicked up the psychological cravings for food, so I actually looked forward to the time when I could just go to bed.
The morning after
Today I feel fine. No worse or better than usual on a Saturday morning. The whole fast was pretty uneventful for the most part. If you google “water fasting” on the internet, you’ll see a lot of blog posts by people who water fasted for the detox effects and all that. They all seem a bit kooky to me as they tend to fall in the weird detox, juice-fast, emotional healing camp but they did make some interesting observations about longer term fasting. I just think their “scientific” evidence is BS, especially the stuff about toxins.
The other camp tends to align with the “fasting will kill you and you will lose all your muscle and blah blah blah” point of view. Their science also seems to be BS and overly alarmist.
If you’re curious, try the fast. You’ll probably feel fine. You’ll lose a bit of weight and you’ll get psychological hunger pangs. If you complete the fast, you’ll feel confident that you can go an extended period of time without eating and function normally.